It’s week two of women’s history month. I thought a lot about what I wanted to write about next. There are so many layers to who I am, so many different things I could share. I first thought I would write about what relationships have taught me but I’ve talked a lot about that in so many of my blog posts. Something I haven’t spoken too much about is being single and what I’ve learned in the single moments throughout my life.
I’ve spent a handful of years in my twenties being single and it has taught me so much about myself. Probably more than I’ve even noticed. There are so many lessons to learn when you’re in a relationship. You learn about your partner. You learn how to communicate with your partner. You figure out what you like and do not like about being in a relationship. But the same kind of lessons can be learned while you’re single. Maybe these lessons don’t stick out like the others, but I promise you, they are there.
*disclaimer: this is not to say you cannot learn any of these lessons while IN a relationship. This is my experience & my experience only. OK proceed*
Feeling comfortable in my freedom
There is something really freeing that happens when a relationship ends. After you move past the sadness, you are able to see a new life form before your eyes. All the time and energy you once focused on your significant other is now free to spend however you would like. While I was dating, my weekends were mostly spent spending time with him. And it’s not to say that it felt like a chore or wasn’t fun, but once you are single, you realize just how much time you use to spend with the other person now that it’s empty.
There isn’t really any transition period to singlehood. One day you are in a relationship & then the next you’re not. It suddenly feels super weird creating a life that doesn’t involve the other person. For me, it felt weird for months. I felt lonely. Time once spent with someone else was now spent by myself. But I started to shake off my past life and really live in this new chapter I was creating. I found comfort in the quiet, slow weekends with myself. I started new hobbies. I met new friend groups. I gained a new sense of freedom I don’t think I would’ve found had I not embraced my single self.
Gaining a new sense of confidence & independence
This takes me to my next point. In my previous relationship, I got really comfortable with myself and with the routine I was living in. But at the same time, I was young and didn’t fully know who I was. I think your twenties are all about learning who you are and getting pushed out of your comfort zone. I don’t think I would be the person I am today if I didn't spend valuable years strengthening my confidence and finding my indepence. And for me, this grew the fastest when I was out of my relationship.
I feel more confident than ever in who I am. I feel sure of the person I’m becoming. There was a moment where I really had to dig deep to figure out what I was previously accepting in my life and determine that I deserved so much more. That came from having the confidence in myself and who I had become.
Figuring out what I’m truly looking for in a new relationship
There is this really fun part in the single journey when you are just starting to dip your toes in the dating pool. Everything is fun and light with no real commitments at first. So in the near future, I’m going to write a blog talking all about first dates because I’ve experienced some really great & some really bad ones. I’ve really had to figure out what I am now looking for in a partner. What values matter most to me. What are dealbreakers I can’t get past. Dating has helped me get back out there but is also totally a way to really test and learn what is most important to me in a future relationship.
How to love myself
This is so cliche but it’s honestly so true. You cannot love someone else until you truly love yourself. This girl still has a way to go on that journey, but I’m getting closer all the time. I’m proud of who I’ve grown into as a woman. For most, after a relationship ends, there is so much self reflection. That self reflection led me into a whole new chapter of womanhood. It completely changed who I am. So for all my single ladies out there, embrace this part of your story. Because it is going to unfold into the most important chapter of your life. You are going to learn things about yourself that you didn’t know were in you. And that’s a really beautiful thing.